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Report: FBI supporting criminal probe into Boeing 737 certification

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is supporting a criminal probe into the certification process for Boeing Co.'s 737 Max aircraft, the Seattle Times reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

This comes after Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao on March 19 ordered an audit of the Federal Aviation Administration's approval of the Boeing aircraft's safety, following two fatal crashes since October 2018.

According to the report, the Justice Department's criminal division is overseeing the criminal investigation.

The FAA said the Boeing 737 Max 8 and 737 Max 9 airplanes will remain grounded, and that an ongoing review of Boeing's new software for the aircraft is an "agency priority."

Investigations have found "some similarities" between the two crashes, according to the FAA.